A new source of light will brighten the midnight sky on New Year’s Eve, as 3ABN’s Dare to Dream Network begins shining the light of God’s Word on North America’s biggest cities! It will be the latest television channel launched on G-19, designed specifically to meet the needs of inner city residents.
But what need brought Dare to Dream into existence? Simply, it was the cries of God’s children.
“There are many specific challenges inner city residents face,” says Dr. Yvonne Lewis, general manager of the fledgling network, “so we’ve designed specific programming with them in mind. We see the erosion of the family unit, and that single parents are raising most of the children in the cities. We see large numbers of ex-offenders who struggle to re-enter society while carrying the scars of their years of incarceration. Many families have no concept of money management, proper nutrition, food preparation, or sexual purity. Literal millions of men have no concept of what it means to be a father, and many more buy into the ideas portrayed by music artists who glorify a life of crime. We cannot ignore their desperate conditions. We must try our best to bring them a better way to live—and that’s why God brought Dare to Dream Network into existence!”
Perhaps the most difficult challenge is how to reach a diverse audience with programming that makes a difference; but after much prayer, Yvonne says Dare to Dream will begin with the family.
“Making It Work is the first program we’ve produced with this in mind,” she says. “It’s hosted by Dr. Kim Logan-Nowlin and her husband Arthur. They are both psychotherapists, and their years of work in Detroit have uniquely prepared them for the task. They will be dealing with every aspect of family life, offering practical, Bible-based tools to strengthen parents and connect them to a loving God who can solve their problems.”
Another great challenge comes with trying to help the millions of ex-offenders, who after spending time behind bars, struggle to become integrated in society. Dare to Dream’s solution is a new program called The New Journey.
“It’s important to have someone they can relate to, so we chose a host who is an ex-offender himself,” Yvonne explains. “Aaron Chancy is on fire for the Lord, and the fact that he speaks from experience goes a long way in reaching our target audience. They need hope, and they need to see someone who is excited about life!
“We’re deliberately seeking young hosts for our Dare to Dream programs,” she continues. “Minorities face tremendous challenges, and they need to see others whose lives have been dramatically changed by the Lord. We’ll talk with ex-offenders who’ve gained victory over their problems and addictions; we’ll also give them the tools they need to successfully re-enter society—things like how to find a job when they get out, and who their Ultimate Resource is! We believe that when they find hope in Jesus, they’ll seek out other ex-offenders and share what happens when the Lord takes control of their lives.”
Poverty is demeaning, and the mental stress about finances can completely overwhelm even the strongest person. Dare to Dream addresses financial problems with a new series, Take It to the Bank, hosted by Cordell Thomas, MBA.
“This program addresses poverty and debt and provides real tools to rise above them,” Yvonne says. “Cordell will teach budgeting, tithing, and how to take control of our finances, using biblical principles for money management.”
Sexual purity is a topic rarely addressed in today’s society, but Dare to Dream is not afraid to deal with it in a program called Pure Choices. “We won’t be shying away from difficult topics,” Yvonne states. “Instead, we’ll be dealing with some pretty sensitive issues in a frank but tasteful way. This program features a live audience of young people interacting with a panel of pastors and special guests, hosted by Pastor Seth Yelorda, from Chattanooga, Tennessee. We believe it’s important to talk about this problem, since it destroys all chances of a happy family life, and we’ll be sharing Christian strategies on how to live in purity.”
Proper nutrition and food preparation are also important, and Dare to Dream will seek to educate those whose eating habits have rarely gotten past processed and fat-laden foods. “A Taste of Paradise is structured in a very different way,” Yvonne explains, “because the first half of the program focuses on raw food preparation, and the second half features cooked food and nutritional tips. Evita Tezeno and Brenda Kemp are from Dallas, Texas, and Evita will draw from her experience as a vegan chef to come up with some amazing ideas for raw food. In the second half of the program we’ll work with Nyse Collins, an international health educator and lecturer who has appeared many times on 3ABN. This program is fun and informative, and the recipes are yummy!” she adds.
Dare to Dream will also use the power of music to lift viewers’ spirits in praise to God. Magnify Him is the flagship music program and will feature interviews and two songs from each artist, giving viewers a glimpse into their ministry.
“I have the privilege of co-hosting this program with a wonderfully talented man from Baltimore, Maryland,” Yvonne exclaims. “Duawne Starling’s talent is amazing. He’s a writer, producer, singer, and arranger, and he’s sung with such notables as Kirk Franklin, the Winans Family, Donnie McClurkin, and many other gospel artists. But what definitely stands out is his godly humility. We really do have something for everybody—from gospel to classical, and even instrumental music.”
Health Guard is hosted by talented health lecturer, Parris Carter So’Brian, and will feature “man-on-the-street” type dialogue with community members as they discuss their health issues. “Our topics will range from chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes to obesity, and we’ll also address nutritional concerns, like artificial sweeteners,” Yvonne adds. “Parris is personable and knowledgeable, and she and her husband Keith have been a real blessing to Dare to Dream.”
Meeting the unique needs of men is the goal of a new program called For Guys Only, hosted by Pastor Willy Lee from Indiana. “This program deals with the challenges facing African American men in our society,” Yvonne explains. “Challenges like being a good spouse, Christian parenting, unemployment, and many other topics that are of concern to inner city males.”
Yvonne has also been involved in producing short spots that air throughout Dare to Dream’s broadcast day. “Did You Know spots feature major contributions that African Americans have made to the world,” she says. “These are mostly unfamiliar contributors, and it’s important to show them because our society needs to be made aware that there are African Americans that ‘dared to dream’ and invented invaluable items we use daily.”
“Please Add Dare to Dream”
While the exposure as an Internet channel has been good, launching on satellite will open many more opportunities. “We can reach so many more people now!” Yvonne exclaims, “and those who may not have computers can now begin receiving the signal, learning about Jesus and the ways He can make their lives better.
“I’ve been traveling around the country visiting urban churches and telling them about 3ABN’s Dare to Dream Network. I’ve asked audiences from coast to coast to join us in requesting their cable companies to add this new network to their channel lineup.
“It’s very important that they write, since their letters become a document the company must keep on file and respond to. If every 3ABN World reader who has cable writes a note on their cable bill each month, saying, ‘Please add Dare to Dream to your lineup,’ the results would be a tremendous boost! It costs nothing to do this,” she adds, “and the Lord has promised to bless our efforts to further the gospel.
“Dare to Dream posters are available for free, and we encourage you to put them up on church bulletin boards and other prominent locations, such as your place of business. Let them know there’s a new network, and how they can get it.”
“There’s no greater privilege than to lead someone to the Lord,” Yvonne continues. “Recently, a woman came up to me at a fellowship dinner in a church in New York and said, ‘I just want to tell you that through your ministry on 3ABN, I was led to conversion and baptism.’
“Tears came to my eyes immediately, because I was so grateful that the Lord used me to draw someone to Him. In fact, I couldn’t stop crying for a long time; it was such a humbling experience for me.
“I believe Dare to Dream will bring many thousands, if not millions, to the Lord. I sense His hand and His power in this effort! But we cannot do this alone. This is something we all have to link arms and be serious about. It’s our home mission field, and if we don’t do it, who will?
“We are trying to help those who don’t have the means to support us; therefore, we are always in need of the prayers and financial support of our brothers and sisters who’ve faithfully invested in 3ABN’s ministry through the years,” she continues. “I’m confident that the Holy Spirit will impress them, but meanwhile, we’ll continue to step out in faith.
“Just as the waters of the Jordan River parted when the priests stepped into it, God will swing the doors of cable companies wide open for this network. No one else is focusing on the inner city with the gospel and tools for living. Therefore, there will be a real demand for what we offer. God is calling us to do this for Him, and by His grace, it will be done!”